Abiraterone Helps Eliminate Localized High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Abiraterone (Zytiga), a hormone therapy drug approved for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer, may also help eliminate localized high-risk prostate cancer, according to researchers who will present their findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago June 1-5, 2012.

Most hormone therapy drugs for prostate cancer work by inhibiting androgen production in the testes and adrenal glands but not within the prostate tumor itself. Abiraterone can target hormone production in all three sites.

A phase II clinical trial of abiraterone plus prednisone and prostatectomy was conducted in 58 men with high-risk prostate cancer whose disease had not spread beyond the gland. Before undergoing prostatectomy, all the men received either three or six months of abiraterone plus prednisone.

According to lead author Mary-Ellen Taplin, MD, of Dana-Farber, “Therapies that combine surgery with older androgen-inhibiting drugs have not historically improved outcomes.”

In this study, however, after prostatectomy, examination of prostate tissue samples showed that tissue tumor had nearly disappeared or was gone completely in one-third of the men.

Investigators were encouraged by the results of this study and are planning another phase II study using one of the latest prostate cancer treatments in the pipeline, MDV3100. Additional trials of abiraterone are also under development.

Reference

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Hormone-depleting drug shows promise against localized high-risk prostate tumors. 2012 May 16


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